20 People From Poor Backgrounds Reveal What Everyday Things They Considered High Living
Some say that money doesn’t buy happiness. Others would argue that neither does poverty. On the other hand, someone else might agree with the Chinese TV dating show contestant who became an online sensation after saying, “I would rather cry in a BMW than smile on a bicycle.” I mean, who wouldn’t like a BMW? But hey, bicycles are fun too!
However, for some people, having a bike or any sort of transportation might be one of the biggest luxuries. Not too long ago, Reddit user ConAir161057 asked the folks from low-income families, “what always felt like a luxury” growing up? And the responses people delivered were genuinely heart-wrenching. This thread also works as a great reminder to never take what we have for granted and be grateful.
See what people coming from humble backgrounds had to share, and let us know what little or mundane things feel like the biggest luxuries to you!
More info: Reddit
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When I was able to afford pads or tampons. Growing up, I had to steal toilet paper from my school during my cycle.
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At the end of the season, sometimes the grocery store would have peck baskets of peaches on sale for a dime to clear them out before they went bad. And if Mom had a spare dime, she’d buy them and tell us to eat all we wanted – normally fruit was limited to one a day if there was any at all. Man, we’d hit those peaches like a plague of locusts.
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I am from a small island in the Pacific. While I mostly still take cold showers, I have always felt that a hot shower is the finest luxury one can experience. I had my first hot shower when I was 22 years old and I can never forget it.
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After growing up in a home where every unexpected problem was a financial emergency, my idea of wealthy became “I just want enough money that if something breaks I don’t get anxiety about how to deal with it.”
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Summer camp, or basically any school trips that had to be paid for.
At my school the kids who couldn’t afford to go on trips that happened during school hours still had to come to the school, we just sat in a room and did *extra work* like it was detention.
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Getting new clothes at Christmas from relatives. I don’t know if that is exactly a luxury or the kind of answer you are looking for, but we never had a lot of money when I was in middle school. I went an entire year wearing the same pants every day. The funny thing was my parents didn’t even buy them for me. I got them for Christmas from my Grandparents. All the kids used to give me so much s**t for wearing the same pants every day. I always told them that I had 5 of the same pair which made me feel good inside and kind of made them ease off even though I know they didn’t believe me.
I remember I fell on the school bus one day and the jagged floor cut a hole right in the knee cap and the panic that went over me was just insane. It was one of the worst feelings of my whole life because I knew that I didn’t have any other pants to wear and that now all of the kids in my school were going to know that I only had 1 pair. Needless to say, I could not wait for the last month of school to end.
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Towels. Honestly, I was almost 10
When I realized people didn’t just put back on their dirty clothes after a shower because my family was so large (12 kids total including myself) and extremely poor. I thought towels were just for hotels or were maybe a prop on television. I went to a friend’s house and she asked for my help folding her towels. I remember laughing and thinking she must be rich. Long story short, I wasn’t sure which way to fold the towels, and begged my mom to buy them after I revealed that my friend, Simone, had them. She bought a box of used ones from a local auction and I walked around with them on my head feeling like a frigging empress after that, even though—-let’s be clear…these were second-hand towels!?
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$5 to spend at the book fair. I never let go of that one and now I send my kids off with $40 to spend at the book fair with the idea that my kids will walk out of there covered head to toe in book fair drip after telling their middle school crush “just get whatever you want, it’s all on me.”
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Not just mattresses on the floor.
During the first few years of our marriage, my wife and I combined, made about 17k per year. It was ROUGH.
Now we make just over 100k per year, and I still stop once and a while and think to myself “Wow, when was the last time I even had to check our balance to make sure we could buy groceries? This is AWESOME!”
Just the little things of not having to worry or double check before you pay for normal purchases is SOOO much better. ‘Money doesn’t buy happiness’? Yes, Yes it does. You’ve just never been truly poor if you think it doesn’t.
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saving the life of a pet because I could afford to pay the vet
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Going out for pizza was a big deal. Those free mini pizzas for reading books were huge.
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Having the heating on. We used to go to bed in our sleeping bags in winter which was really cool back then, pretty depressing now
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Drinking clean (and enough) water and just having a decent meal, not just a piece of dry bread and tea!
Yes, I come from Yemen, where we did not have a sufficient amount of water (for drinking or cleaning) and did not necessarily have three meals a day.
I remember that we would not have random plants in our garden to water, that would be a waste of water. If you watch Dune, we kinda had (and still have) a similar situation!
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Ice cream once a year on my birthday
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Buying any kind of fruit I want at the grocery store.
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Buying a book instead of borrowing from the library
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Just getting some god dang crafts, man. I was the kid you could entertain the rest of the night with popsicle sticks, glitter, and glue. You know what I never got to do? Crafts, because the only popsicle sticks we ever got were NONE, the glue was for school only (“don’t let your friends borrow your glue/crayons/pencils we can’t buy more ’til income tax!”), and glitter meant more electricity vacuuming it up.
I am now a grown woman with a craft room that sparkles like a dragon hoard. I make Martha Stewart weep
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Christmas decorations. We used to just put tinsel on a fan and that was our tree
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Going to someone’s house when they had a sectional sofa. The pinnacle of luxury.